SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Springfield College held its Baccalaureate ceremony on the afternoon of Saturday, May 18, at Naismith Green on the campus. Baccalaureate is an annual Springfield College tradition held on the day before the undergraduate commencement to honor the graduating senior class. It is a student-led ceremony designed to celebrate the spirit, mind, and body.
Hundreds of graduates and their families attended this very memorable part of the Commencement weekend activities under sunny skies on the Naismith Green.
Participating in his 15th and final Baccalaureate ceremony, Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn was the keynote speaker. He was introduced by 2012-2013 student trustee, Robert Kearney.
“Members of the Class of 2013, this is very much your day, your weekend,” said Flynn, who is retiring on August 31. “The Baccalaureate service is really the last time we will gather together in relative intimacy, on this beautiful and historic Naismith campus green, which has become so familiar to all of us. It’s a day of remembrance, of congratulations and best wishes, of families and friends. The focus clearly is on you, and the spotlight is very well deserved."
Flynn went on to offer students some important words of advice as they graduate from Springfield College including: make wise choices, seek and maintain balance in your life, be guided by integrity, and to consider the “golden rule” - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Flynn also went on to say that the students will be required to be resilient, a quality he believes the Class of 2013 has demonstrated.
Flynn reflected on the many accomplishments the Class of 2013 has achieved in their four years together. “We are amazed at what you have accomplished,” said Flynn. “You should take pride in those accomplishments and you can approach the next stage in your life with real confidence. And I must say, with your record of achievement in four short years, and with your new Springfield College degree in hand – I am extremely optimistic about the impact you will make throughout your lifetime.”
Before closing, Flynn recited a quote from John Wesley, the founder of the United Methodist religion. It reads, “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as you ever can.” Flynn added that he didn’t think he could provide the students with any guidance that is more consistent with the longstanding mission of Springfield College.
In closing, Flynn added, “Know that you will be leaving here with a value laden education and with friendships and wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.”
The Baccalaureate ceremony began with the invocation, delivered by Springfield College women’s gymnastics standout and Fellowship of Christian Athletes member, Brittany Baglow. Charlie Sullivan, Springfield College men’s volleyball head coach, delivered the formal greeting.
Brenda L. Brown, member of the School of Human Services, read from God in Search of Man, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Springfield College English major Amanda Pelkey performed the song Believe in Me. Members of the 2013 class board, Monica Stefanowicz, Kristina Dupuis, Alison Dombroski, Laura Johansmeyer, Whitney Larson, Roger Reidy, Brian Staub, and John Caparrotta, shared “A Reflection by the Class of 2013.
The senior dancers, Caitlin Delaney, Kelly Lynds, Ashley Pease, Katelyn Bermingham, Jaheida Chung, Kristin Conway, Ariel Cormier, Marya Moylan and Carissa Nascembeni, performed “A Reflection in Dance.”
Vanessa Adjei, outgoing president of the Springfield College Society for Bridging Differences, led those assembled in the unison prayer, Anam Cara. Springfield College senior singers and band members Amanda Pelkey, Andrew DeCusati, Chris Jost, Trevor Marcotte, and Jeffery Richard performed the musical piece, Remember.
At the conclusion of the event, Springfield College Premedical Club Secretary Alice Luzgin delivered the benediction.